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Alabama A&M will be “exotic” to us

Clark Lea addressed the media ahead of Saturday’s game.

NCAA Football: SEC Media Day Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Clark Lea addressed the media on Tuesday, following Saturday’s win over Hawaii and ahead of this week’s game against Alabama A&M.

  • Lea walks straight in with an injury update: Daevion Davis is out indefinitely, Leyton Nelson is questionable with a sprained foot, Darren Agu is making progress but is currently day-to-day, was back out in practice today. Jeffrey Ugo is also day-to-day but was back in practice today coming back from an ankle sprain. Quincy Skinner is probable with a hamstring injury, he didn’t have any setbacks.
  • He felt good coming out of the game being healthy, happy to start 1-0 and learn from a win. First games are often sloppy and we survived a sloppy one on Saturday. The game came down to not being able to separate, we had opportunities being up 21-7 but let Hawaii score. Were up 35-14, on both sequences we had fourth-down attempts to respond but didn’t get them.
  • We need to be able to close games out. We had chances and weren’t able to do it.
  • We’re excited to compete against Alabama A&M this weekend. They were undefeated in the COVID spring. Coach has done a great job with the team. Like last week, this is about Vanderbilt football and how we progress.
  • Two issues with the run: most of those runs had pass options off, times that we threw the ball against looks we’d like to run it. A.J. needs to sync up his decision-making, he’ll get better with more reps. We like to anticipate but also like to see what we see post-snap. Other thing was that when Hawaii pressured, we need to be detailed about how we direct the line of scrimmage. We miscalled a couple of times. There were some fundamental lapses, like the 4th and 1 they got us in the backfield on.
  • Alabama A&M, in all three phases, will be “exotic” to us. We will have to adapt our systems to make sure we’re blocking what they do.
  • B.J. Anderson couldn’t catch up when a receiver went on a go route. If he makes contact on that route, he’s going to blunt the release enough. It’s a technical issue. I thought Tyson Russell was in good position to finish. Jaylen Mahoney, the inside fade, I don’t know if you can cover that, it’s an incredible throw and catch. We’re not going to play in a world where we don’t give up any explosive passes.
  • These aren’t free passes that we give to the field, but guys who learn the processes deserve to be out there. As a program we have to grow the level of trust to where we’re not flinching when it’s time to make a change.
  • Today was a good day, I don’t know if it was a great day on the practice field. As a coach you’re never satisfied.
  • We were one block away on the double reverse.
  • De’Rickey Wright has an incredible skill set, he’s built a process into that and all of that came out on Saturday. I don’t know if he would have made those plays a year ago.
  • We haven’t made a habit of going for two but we like to challenge the opponent. It didn’t work out for us, but then we went for two again on the next possession to balance the score up.

And this week’s depth chart, which is... the same as last week’s.